It’s April and Spring looks like it has finally sprung. Which means that Prinos Farm&Deli is stocking up with all the premium fresh local fruit and vegetable that is in season now. Such as sweet, ripe artichokes, with their fleshy tender heart in the centre. Indeed, this subtle ingredient not only adds flavour and texture to a meal, but also increases the nutritional value thanks to its many health benefits.
Artichokes actually originate in the Mediterranean and have long been used in the region for their natural healing properties and medicinal value. Actually, a type of thistle as opposed to a vegetable, the artichoke is packed full of nutrients. This includes essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins C and K, iron, folate, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. They are also one of the most antioxidant-richest vegetables, with specific compounds that protect the liver from damage and stimulate the growth of new tissue, while also helping to reduce the risk of cancer.
And the health benefits don’t stop there. In fact, the humble artichoke also helps regulate blood pressure and balances cholesterol levels, reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol and increasing ‘good’. High in fibre, this tasty food is also a great source of prebiotics, meaning it can help support a healthy gut and digestive system, boosting friendly bacteria and reducing indigestion and easing irritable bowel syndrome.
When paired with creamy risotto rice, together with fragrant onion and rosemary, artichoke becomes a substantial and tasty meat alternative. Did you know, nearly half of the world gets 50% of their calories from rice. And the food has been grown as a crop and cultivated for over 8,000 years. And there are so many different varieties to choose from. Such as jasmine, basmati, wild black or red rice, and even purple rice.
But for this delicious spring Artichoke, Red Onion & Rosemary Risotto recipe, using premium products from Prinos Farm&Deli, we’ll be using a comfortingly creamy and lightly nutty arborio risotto rice from Italy. Risotto is a north Italian dish that is cooked slowly with vegetable stock and white wine, until it gets a rich creamy consistency. It can be tricky to get it just right, but with the following instructions, we’re sure you’ll do a great job.
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large red onions
- 2 red peppers
- 2 of tbsp rosemary
- 140g of arborio risotto rice
- 150ml of white wine
- 850ml of low-salt vegetable stock
- 400g of artichoke hearts
- 2 tbsp of grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
- 2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
- First, heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium flame. While the oil is heating, roughly dice the onions, before frying them gently in the pan for around 6-7 minutes (or until they turn soft and lightly browned). Next mix in the chopped peppers and add the rosemary, stirring well for another 5 minutes.
- Once the peppers have softened, add the risotto rise to the pan and stir, making sure all the grains are well covered. Now slowly stir in the white wine, followed by half of the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let gentle simmer, stirring regularly until most of the liquid has absorbed.
- Next add in your boiled artichoke hearts, before pouring in the other half of the vegetable stock and simmering until it has all absorbed, and the rice is tender.
- Finally season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the parmesan or vegan cheese and half the pine nuts. Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts in the dishes to serve.
The original recipe is from BBC Good Foods. Visit their website for more healthy recipes like this. Shop all the ingredients at Prinos Farm&Deli in Nicosia and Larnaca or visit our e-shop and do an online delivery today!